FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Kaleb McMichen
Friday, March 8, 2019
Speaker Ralston Announces Passage of Heartbeat Bill (HB 481)
ATLANTA – Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) announces that the House of Representatives passed House Bill 481, commonly referred to as the “Heartbeat Bill,” on Thursday, March 7. The legislation is officially titled the “Living Infants Fairness and Equality” (LIFE) Act.
“I am proud that the House acted in a deliberate way to protect the unborn and passed the nation’s strongest pro-life protections,” said Speaker Ralston. “Working with Governor Kemp and the Senate, we will see to it that Georgia remains a state where each and every human life is treated with the dignity and respect it deserves. In addition to this legislation, we will continue to fight for Georgia’s children by making it easier to adopt, improving our foster care system and ensuring better access to healthcare for infants and their mothers,”
“I appreciate that abortion can be a divisive issue, and I respect that there are people with strong convictions on both sides,” continued Speaker Ralston. “That is why I am proud that the House had a thorough and civil debate which allowed members to give voice to their viewpoints.”
Supported by Governor Brian Kemp and sponsored by Rep. Ed Setzler (R-Acworth), HB 481 prohibits abortion when an unborn child has a detectable human heartbeat. It contains exceptions in the cases of rape, incest, risk to the life of the mother and medically-futile pregnancies. The measure now moves to the State Senate for consideration. If approved by the Senate, it would go to Governor Kemp’s desk for his signature. More information about HB 481 may be found here:http://www.legis.ga.gov/
Scroll down to watch video of the forum.
Fannin County Chamber of Commerce 2016 Primary Candidate Forum.
Cynthia Panter, Chairman Fannin County Chamber Board.
Rob Kaser, Co-Moderator
Fannin County Magistrate Judge
Sherri Walker (I) NP
Dannette Davis NP
Brian D. Jones NP
Fannin County School Board
Jeremy Davis R
Clarence Junior Farmer R
Chad Galloway R
Fannin County Tax Commissioner
Shirley Sosebee (I) R
Marie Woody R
Georgia House of Representatives District 7
Speaker David Ralston (I) R
Sam Snider R
Georgia Senate District 51
Senator Steve Gooch (I) R
Fannin County Commission Chairman
Bill Simonds (I) R
Stan Helton R
Fannin County Sheriff
Dane Kirby (I) R
Larry Bennett Sr. R
Johnny Scearce R
Jack Taylor R
Rusty Whittenbarger D
(Scroll to the bottom to read the entire amended Bill)
On the afternoon of March 16th, Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston (R – Blue Ridge, District 7) did what many of his critics said he would never do, allow a religious freedom bill to come to the floor for a vote.
The original sponsor of HB 757 “The Pastor Protection Act’ now known as the “Free Exercise Protection Act” Kevin Tanner (R – Dawsonville District 9) presented the amended version of the bill to the House for a vote.
Randy Nix (R – LaGrange District 69) and Allen Peake (R – Macon District 141) spoke in support of the bill as they shared with the House they have gay family members.
The original version of HB 757 passed the House with unanimous support from both parties but the Democrats did not show the same support for the amended version.
Karla Drenner (D – Avondale Estates District 85) said that if she would have known she was going to vote on this bill when she left the house this morning she would have worn a black suit, “The Bill is a license to discriminate.”
Taylor Bennett (D – Brookhaven District 80) shared that his mom is gay and has been married to her partner since 2014.
Stacy Abrams (D – Atlanta District 89) “Bill makes it lawful to discriminate.”
After House debate closed, the bill passed 104-65 and was sent to the Senate.
When Senate Democrats unsuccessfully attempted three amendments to the bill, Kirk gave a brief description of the bill before the vote.
The Senate passed the bill 37-18.
Senator Josh McKoon (R – District 29) released the following statement “After three years of speeches, meetings, town halls, debates, amendments and forums — many miles on the highways and byways of this state — final passage at last of a REAL religious freedom bill. Thank you to all who have been on this journey with us.”
The bill now ends up on Governor Nathan Deal’s desk. Will the governor accept the bill as a good compromise or feel it discriminates and will cause economic backlash against the state?